Thursday, April 6, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: At Last UK Said To Seek End For 2020 Renewables Target








Scientific Advice Promoting Diesel ‘Was Wrong’, Former Chief Scientist Admits

In this newsletter:

1) At Last: UK Said To Seek End For 2020 Renewables Target
Bloomberg, 5 April 2016 
 
2) Scientific Advice Promoting Diesel ‘Was Wrong’, Former Chief Scientist Admits
The Times, 5 April 2017 
 
3) Hoodwinked By A Green Zealot: The Scientist Behind The Dash For Diesel Called CO2 ‘Worse Than Terror’
Daily Mail, 5 April 2017
 
4) Editorial: Diesel Drivers Pay The Price Of Green Zealotry
Daily Mail, 5 April 2017 
 
5) Global Temperatures Drop To Pre-El Nino Levels
Science Matters, 4 April 2017
 
6) As West Goes Green, China Dominates Global Energy Infrastructure Investment
Financial Times, 4 April 2017
 
7) While Europe Bans, India Keen To Explore Massive Shale Gas Resources
The New Indian Express, 4 April 2017

Full details:

1) At Last! UK Said To Seek End For 2020 Renewables Target
Bloomberg, 5 April 2016 

Britain is looking for ways to scrap its 2020 clean energy targets while maintaining everyday trade in Europe’s energy market, an early sign of the kind of cherry-picking that threatens to sour Brexit negotiations.





Officials in the Treasury and the business department are looking for a way to abandon the national goal of getting 15 percent renewable energy by 2020, which is almost double the current level, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

Erasing the target would allow Britain to skirt fines that could reach 10s of millions of pounds since it’s on track to narrowly miss the 2020 goal. It would also move the U.K. out of step with other European Union nations that maintain targets as part of their membership in the region’s energy market. The U.K. wishes to preserve its link to the market and smooth cross-border trading of electricity, which has helped lower power prices, the person said.

“There is a risk that energy gets wrapped up in the wider political negotiation, with the EU seeking to make access to the Internal Energy Market subject to the U.K. signing up to future energy and environment legislation,” said Simon Virley, head of power and utilities at consultants KPMG LLP an a former director-general of the U.K.’s energy and climate ministry. “That is when it could get difficult.”

The move is an example of Prime Minister Theresa May’s government seeking to maintain the most advantageous parts of the EU relationship while scrapping rules concerning to business — the sort of “cherry picking” that the European Commission has ruled out. May began the two-year process of leaving the union on March 29. And while renewables targets and electricity market rules are negotiated differently, they link at the level of political discussions.

Full story

see also –Why the UK Government should repeal the Renewables Directive

2) Scientific Advice Promoting Diesel ‘Was Wrong’, Former Chief Scientist Admits
The Times, 5 April 2017 
Sam Coates

The chief scientist under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown has admitted successive governments were wrong to encourage people to buy diesel vehicles.



Sir David King, the chief scientific adviser from 2000 to 2007 and special representative for climate change until last week, said that the government had overestimated the impact of European regulations when it decided to encourage people to buy diesel vehicles from 2001 onwards.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that meeting CO2 targets, which were part of the climate change agenda, was the priority at the time. “What was on our minds very heavily was how do we reduce carbon dioxide emissions given the challenge of climate change. Diesel-driven vehicles can do more miles per gallon and it seemed an obvious way forward to go down the diesel route.”

Asked about the 1999 government report recommending they steer clear of incentivising diesel purchases, he said ministers at the time thought that tighter regulations from Brussels would address the problem.

“What we were anticipating was that the Euro standards being met would mean that diesel manufacturers would have to reduce their NOx emissions . . . It turns out we were wrong.”

Full story

3) Hoodwinked By A Green Zealot: The Scientist Behind The Dash For Diesel Called CO2 ‘Worse Than Terror’
Daily Mail, 5 April 2017
Victoria Allen

The scientist behind the dash for diesel is a committed climate change activist who once described global warming as a greater threat than terrorism.

Professor Sir David King, 77, was the architect of the policy to cut fuel duty for diesel cars as Tony Blair’s personal scientist.
 

Professor Sir David King, 77, was the architect of the policy to cut fuel duty for diesel cars as Tony Blair’s personal scientist

Yesterday he admitted he got it wrong, having been driven by an obsession with carbon emissions. The former Government chief scientific adviser, knighted in 2003, has presided over many controversies.

In 2004 he wrote in the journal Science: ‘In my view, climate change is the most severe problem that we are facing today – more serious even than the threat of terrorism.’

He refused to back down when called in to Parliament and asked about his comments, which came just three years after the 9/11 attacks….

His strong belief in man-made climate change has seen him publish a book, The Hot Topic, on how to tackle global warming, and he has been accused of being a politician in scientist’s clothing for his strong views.

Just over a decade ago the chemist warned that temperatures will rise to dangerous levels within decades, leaving large sections of Britain’s coastline under water, while 400 million people could go hungry.

He has also said that global warming is pushing thousands of animals and plants towards extinction.

Full story

4) Editorial: Diesel Drivers Pay The Price Of Green Zealotry
Daily Mail, 5 April 2017 

As confessions of incompetence go, Sir David King’s admission that he was absolutely wrong to advocate diesel cars could hardly be more damning.

In his role as the former chief scientific adviser to the government – and until last month, special representative for climate change – this is a man on whom the public were entitled to rely for scrupulously impartial judgment, based on facts.

Yet now this fervent campaigner against carbon emissions admits he let himself be duped by carmakers who claimed they had solved the more toxic problem of nitrogen oxides spewed out by diesel engines.

His confession comes too late for millions who tried to do the environmentally friendly thing by switching from petrol after Labour cut diesel fuel duty in 2001.

Nor can it help those whose health has suffered from diesel pollutants, which are linked to dementia and childhood breathing problems and, most chilling of all, are said to contribute to thousands of deaths.

So will it be the carmakers – still fiddling emissions tests on an industry-wide scale – who are punished for their deceit? Or government advisers and politicians such as Lord Prescott, Neil Kinnock and Gordon Brown, who banged the drum for diesel?

No, with depressing predictability, those footing the bill for this huge blunder will be the families who did as they were advised.

They now face crippling charges for driving diesels in low-emission zones, while the resale value of their cars – the second-biggest purchase of their lives, after their homes – is sure to plummet. As for King, he gets a knighthood!

Listening to the likes of London mayor Sadiq Khan, anyone would think diesel owners were the villains. Yet aren’t they owed a massive apology by the politicians and advisers who misled them?

How many other crimes against the environment, health – and our wallets –have been committed in the name of green zealotry?

5) Global Temperatures Drop To Pre-El Nino Levels
Science Matters, 4 April 2017
Ron Clutz

The recent El Nino is cooling down as shown clearly in both sea surface temperatures and lower troposphere air temperatures. The two relevant data sets are UAH v.6 and HadSSTv3.1 now provide averages for the month of March 2017.



The cooling pattern continues in the tropical seas while ocean temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) are  flat.  Southern Hemisphere (SH) oceans appear to be peaking and pulled the Global SST up a bit, but both are slightly below last March.



Air temperatures in the lower troposphere tell much the same story. The greater volatility of air temperatures is evident, and we also see that the tropics (20N to 20S) and the NH (0 to 90N) are more closely aligned than are the comparable SSTs.  The downward trajectory of air temps is clear after an upward blip in the NH in February.

Full post

6) As West Goes Green, China Dominates Global Energy Infrastructure Investment
Financial Times, 4 April 2017
James Kynge

Lending lifts Beijing’s diplomatic clout in developing world and opens up overseas markets

China turbo-charged its lending to overseas energy projects last year, burnishing the attraction of its “infrastructure diplomacy” to the developing world and reinforcing its position as the dominant supplier of global development finance as Donald Trump draws back on such US funding abroad.

A new database, published on Tuesday by Boston University’s Global Economic Governance Initiative, shows that lending by China’s two global development banks rose 40 per cent last year to $48.4bn — a figure estimated to be several times the total funds allocated to energy infrastructure by the World Bank and other western-backed lending agencies.

“China is . . . exporting its model of infrastructure-led development abroad to those countries that are demanding energy and infrastructure but can’t get the financing from traditional sources,” said Kevin Gallagher, a Boston University professor and co-director of the Global Economic Governance Initiative.

He estimated that China’s lending to overseas energy projects was close triple the average annual energy finance of $16.9bn provided by the World Bank and three other institutions, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the African Development Bank, between 2007-2015.

Much of China’s lending to oil, gas, coal, hydropower and other energy facilities in 2016 was directed toward the developing world and in particular to countries covered by “One Belt One Road”, a key geopolitical strategy championed by Xi Jinping, the Chinese president.

Mr Trump, by contrast, has proposed big cuts to funding for the US Agency for International Development, as well as for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. This US stance is likely to cede further dominance of international development finance to China, analysts said.

Taken together, the China Development Bank (CDB) and the Export-Import Bank of China (Ex-Im Bank) already eclipse the World Bank in total international assets, according to Boston University data.

Sam Geall, executive editor at China Dialogue, sees China’s increase in global energy finance in geopolitical terms. “China is opening the prospect that it will be managing a lot of power infrastructure, particularly in the developing world and in the electrification sector and that puts them in a powerful position globally,” said Mr Geall, who is also an associate fellow at Chatham House, a UK think-tank.

In terms of sector, China’s finance was directed mainly towards oil, gas, coal and hydropower plants (see chart), marking a shift from previous years when Beijing devoted a larger share of its capital toward funding the construction of coal-fired power stations.

Full story

7) While Europe Bans, India Is Keen To Explore Massive Shale Gas Resources
The New Indian Express, 4 April 2017
Pramod Thomas

India has an estimated 96 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale gas reserves and the government is eager to tap them.


Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Oil India have already spent Rs 199.47 crore on shale gas exploration in the country.

To exploit shale gas and oil in the country, the government on October 14, 2013 announced the policy guidelines for exploration and exploitation of shale gas and oil by ONGC and OIL in their on-land Petroleum Exploration Licence and petroleum mining lease areas awarded under the nomination regimes.

“ONGC has drilled a total of 21 wells in 18 blocks for shale gas and oil. OIL has completed geological and geophysical studies and geochemical analysis in its identified areas in its identified areas. Both these entities are carrying out shale gas exploration from their funds. During 2013-16 and 2016-17, ONGC and OIL made an expenditure of Rs 199.47 crore on shale gas exploration. All blocks are is still under exploration stage,” said minister for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan in the Lok Sabha on March 27.

Full story

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.

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